Yonatan Galvez Marin, 22, of Normal Road was arrested on Sunday, Sept. 4, on two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and criminal possession of a weapon for the Aug. 31 killing of Nazma Khanam, 60.
At 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 31, law enforcement sources said, Galvez Marin approached Khanam as she walked steps ahead of her husband along Normal Road between 160th and 161st streets and demanded cash. When she refused, police said, Galvez Marin allegedly stabbed her once in her torso and fled the scene on foot.
Officers from the 107th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. Khanam, the aunt of a New York City police officer, was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
At first, many in the Muslim community called on police to investigate Khanam’s death as a possible hate crime; it occurred a few weeks after an Ozone Park imam and an associate were fatally shot while walking home from afternoon prayers at a local mosque.
“Sadly, the Bangladeshi community once again finds itself having to deal with the senseless murder of one of its own,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement. “The individual who attempted to rob and attack this defenseless wife and mother as she walked down the street has now been apprehended, and will be vigorously prosecuted for this unprovoked and heinous attack.”
Detectives tracked down Galvez Marin three days after Khanam’s murder near the crime scene. He was charged following questioning by the 107th Precinct Detective Squad and the Queens South Homicide Squad.
At his arraignment hearing on Sunday, Galvez Marin was ordered held without bail and to return to court on Sept. 9. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life behind bars.